Friday, June 12, 2009

Ready, Set, Go Find the Flowers

Red-berried Elder is in fruit now, not flowers, so it didn't make my natives-in-bloom list.
But it sure is a beautiful native plant, and it grows in the Skidmore Woods.

To prove to myself (wildflower nerd that I am) that I have much to be grateful for, living in Saratoga County, I set myself a little experiment. I would park in one of the lots near the Skidmore Woods and count how many native flowers in bloom I could find in 30 minutes. Here's my list, all found within 50 yards or so of that parking lot:

Beardtongue, White
Dogwood, Panicled and Round-leaved
Fleabane, Daisy
Hop Hornbeam, American
Loosestrife, Whorled
Milkweed, Four-leaved
Poison Ivy (yes, it's a native plant, and it's blooming)
Raspberry, Purple-flowering
Rose, Virginia
Sanicle Snakeroot
Solomon's Plume
Speedwell, Common
Viburnum, Maple-leaved

This list doesn't include those natives past blooming, like Arrowwood and Hawthorne and all the spring ephemerals, nor those that are yet to bloom, like asters and goldenrods and bergamots and sunflowers and Eupatoriums of several kinds. Nor did I include the numerous non-natives now blooming, the daisies and clovers and hawkweeds and bedstraws that add their beauty to the scene without supplanting the natives that still flourish here.

Having wandered the lush green deserts of Westchester County last week, where aggressive alien plants and deer have eliminated most of the natives, it really came home to me how lucky we are to still have all this diversity to discover on our walks through the woods. What do we have to do to make sure it remains this way? Something to think about.

If I tried to post photos of all I found today at Skidmore, my computer would probably crash. But here's a sampling.

White Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

American Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

Whorled Loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia)

Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia)

Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana)

1 comment:

Tom Arbour said...

A very nice list, Jackie. I'd say my favorite is the rubus. Great plant, so different from the other rubuses.